Home Photography Writing About


Birthday Week Celebration - Give-away Three

Happy Birthday to me! (Well, on Saturday.)

Hello to the new followers. Now I'm only six away from 200. But there's only one more day. So spread the word for me. All three of these give-aways are open for a week so you can still enter them. This one will be open until next Friday.

Today's give-away is not only celebrating my birthday, it is also celebrating one year in Germany. So there is a choice of prizes between my two favorite things. The winner will either get to pick from my library of photographs and have an 8X10 printed, or they can pick any two from my library of books.
The books I have to give away (they are all soft cover and in very good condition):
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman (aka Golden Compass)
Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Vampire Diaries 1 & 2 by L.J. Smith

My flickr library is here, but I have so much more than that. It will give you the flavor of my photography and we can talk further if you choose to get the 8X10. (I'd even be willing to capture a new photo specifically for you. I'm feeling rather artsy at the moment and would love some new inspiration.)

Now just fill out this form; it's easy, I promise. You can answer the first question by reading this blog post. And this is the end of the crazy birthday week. Thanks for joining in!


Birthday Week Celebration - Give-away Two

Just a little side note before we get to the give-away: I would really love to get to 200 followers for my birthday. I'm only 8 away, and I have until Saturday. That would be a great way to end the week!

This give-away is focused on travel. I have been a lot of places in my life, and especially in the past year, so I decided to give-away a travel journal made by the lovely Katie at Gadanke. Katie moves between the Rocky Mountains and Germany with her husband. I found her through another expat and couldn't resist getting in touch with someone who lives in the two places I have lived!
I will be purchasing this journal from Katie and having it sent to the winner. The contest is open until next Wednesday. You just need to fill out this form; it's easy, I promise. Answer the first question by reading my blog post on where I have traveled. Come back on Friday for another give-away, and make sure you enter Monday's give-away.


Birthday Week Celebration - Give-away One

Hi! At the end of this week is my birthday. So I'm going to have three give-aways for you. My birthday presents to my readers.

Today I'm going to give you an update on my writing this month and give away a set of my postcards so you can do some writing of your own. Twelve Frozen Flower postcards in their own box.

I'm only one quarter of the way through my manuscript. At least so far. I have one week left. I don't plan on finishing my manuscript this month, but I haven't given up on the whole thing. I still have ideas; it hasn't died yet; it does feel really raw. I'll keep you updated, but for now I'm just plowing through the first draft.

So now, for the contest. You have to fill out this form; it's easy I promise. The first question is something you can answer by having read this blog post. Then fill out the form and you're entered to win the postcards. I will announce the winner for this give-away next Monday. Come back on Wednesday and Friday for more give-aways!


Three Things Thursday - The Past Year

I'm going to incorporate Three Things Thursday with the year anniversary of my husband and I being in Germany because exactly a year ago we landed in Stuttgart. So take a look at yesterday's post for my three things. I want you to look back on the past year and tell me three things about it. Maybe three things that have changed you or even just random things.
Three things about...
the past year.
Blog your own post and link in the linky below or tell me in the comments! I have to clean the house today and then get all fancied up to celebrate a great year.


One Year in Germany

A year ago today my husband and I left the United States for Stuttgart, Germany. It has been quite the adventure. I really believe it has brought us closer, but I wouldn't say it's a good form of therapy for the light-hearted. Stress is our constant companion. We are just now starting to untangle its fingers from around our necks.

I'm surprised to see that I understood Germany pretty well when we first got here. I'm reading through the old blog posts. Here is a photo I took of the farms behind our first apartment. Lovely Bonlanden, the place that smells like farts when the cabbage rots.
Day 81
The adventure of going through buying a car. And then having that car break in the IKEA parking lot and be broken for another few months. (It's now having the same problem, oh yay.)

Finding a beautiful apartment, renting and decorating it, and very soon after moving in locking ourselves out of said apartment.

We've gone to fests and made a ton of new friends. As well as had my family visit. A lot of friends and family are planning on coming out next year, it will be another crazy year!

We discovered the Nürburgring car-racing track and have traveled so many places. I think Albert has seriously been bitten by the traveling bug, he's constantly wanting to go somewhere new now! (And it's funny because he's only been to Europe once...even though it has lasted a year! He's never even dealt with the jet lag on the way back to the U.S. so he doesn't have an opinion when people argue over which way jet lag is worse.)
It has really been a good year. A stressful one, but a good one nonetheless. I'm looking forward to many more either here in Germany or elsewhere. Tomorrow night we are headed to the restaurant we ate in on our arrival. Only this time we can actually order in German!


Three Things Thursday - Travel Wishes

Last week I asked you about where you have been. This week I want to know where you dream of going. I really wish someone would invent teleportation so travel would be so much easier. I'm not the best flier, but I love to travel places. If I could hop from one place to another with maybe a little dizziness and cotton-mouth as the only side effects, I would be set.
Three things about...
where you dream of traveling.
1.    I would like to someday see Japan. I have a strange fascination with the history of Asia and the beauty that can be found there.
2.    I need to go to Australia and South America, then I will have been to all the continents except for Antarctica. I’ve been a lot of places, but it would be fun to be able to say I’ve been to six of the seven continents.
3.    One of my dreams right now is to go as far north as is comfortable in Sweden in the summer to watch the sun never set. That or go to Iceland in the winter to visit the hot springs they have. I just like to travel; I want to experience as many places as I can in my life.


Piepsen Went to London

Piepsen went to London with us in August. He really enjoyed the tea and the shepherd's pie at the pub. He refused to go in the London Eye (the fear of heights and all that). But he loves palaces and the architecture of London.

We're still working on his photos from Vienna. (He thinks he looks like a rat in them.) But we should have those up soon.

Piepsen in London


Oktoberfest 2010

I have to say that I don't need to go to Oktoberfest again. It's nice to say I've been there, and on the 200th anniversary as well, but it's just like any other German fest. For those of you who haven't lived here, you can come to any big fest anywhere in Germany and it'll be like Oktoberfest. In fact, Frühlingsfest in Stuttgart (which is in the spring) is better. Less crowded, cheaper, and exactly the same otherwise. It was fun to hang out with friends, but it was crowded and we had traffic all the way home.


Three Things Thursday - Travel

My mother grew up in Saudi Arabia because her father worked for an oil company. They traveled a lot when she was a child, all over Europe and back and forth to the United States. Because she grew up a traveler, so did I.
Three things about...
where you have traveled.
1.    First I’ll list off the places: a lot of the States, Mexico, England, France, Netherlands, Germany, Tanzania, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Switzerland, Austria.
2.    We used to spend every other summer in Mexico just lazing in a resort. It was wonderful, and I miss that kind of traveling. Lately it’s just been hundreds of museums and castles. I need a relaxing vacation, not a tourist one.
3.    My favorite trip was Tanzania. It was my high school graduation present for my whole family to go on a safari there. It was absolutely amazing. If you can do it, go for it. The landscapes are beautiful, the animals are breathtaking, and because we were stuck in a safari jeep all day we really became closer as a family.

So post your own blog post about where you have traveled and attach your link here or tell me in the comments. I love getting to know all of you!


Small Business and Etsy

It looks like I need to close my etsy shop. At least while I'm living in Germany. The ideas and products I have are too expensive to produce and sell from here. I'm considering some other possibilities like Red Bubble which would allow me to have my photos up for sale but they take care of the printing and shipping. I'm still looking into that.

I do have to say I really miss taking photos of people. That is my one love of photography. I also might attempt to offer my services on the American bases and build some clientele.

For now my etsy shop has the inventory that is sitting in my office, and I will be putting it on sale soon to try and clear it out. Consider this diagram that has passed around the interwebs lately when you want to take something you love and turn it into what you do.

Venn Diagram - Happiness in Business


NaNoWriMo or OctoWriMo

I've been considering the fact that NaNoWriMo will be pretty much impossible for me this year. I'm starting a new job in November that is full time, and then the last two weeks we are going back to Colorado for a visit. I don't think I will have much time to write around those two things. So I decided to write in October instead.

On October 2nd I started a novel that has been rolling around in my head for a while. I didn't want to touch it and just let it flutter in the back of my mind until it was solid and I knew it wouldn't run away. It's a singularity novel. What would the world be like in the future if something technological or biological radically changed our lifestyles? Think of iRobot or Minority Report the movies. I still have to read Isaac Asimov's robot stories, but I've seen the movie.

In my future world it is a biological change. There are other science fictiony things like self-cleaning streets and machines like instant coffee for groceries, but the world revolves around the change in people because of this new medical technology.

This is the first idea I've had that originated around the world and not around a character. All of my writing before has been character based. This novel isn't an exception, it's just that the idea formed differently for me. Which I think means the story will be different than anything I've done before. The story itself is still character based, but the world is more developed than said characters at this point.

You can watch my progress this month on the bar to the right. I'm at 5% right now, lol. I don't know if I'll finish in a month. But I will certainly be pushing myself to do so.


Free October Desktop Calendar

This windmill is in the Black Forest. We went hiking up right underneath it. It was pretty cool to see how they worked and listen to them hum as they changed direction to find the best wind.

So welcome to October. It's my favorite month. Mostly for the weather. Sort of for the fact that my birthday is at the end. I will be celebrating that with you guys. I don't know how yet, but there will be giveaways involved!

Anyways, here is the free desktop calendar for this month. Just click on the picture. When it comes up in its own browser window, right click and save the picture somewhere on your computer. Then go to that location, right click on the picture, and set as desktop background. Voila, you have a photo calendar on your computer! And please let me know in the comments if you use it.